Date: 15th September 2006 at 10:25am
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Steve Bruce doesn’t like leaving Forssell on the bench, but how can he change a winning team and drop DJ Campbell?

Speaking to former player Ian Clarkson at the Birmingham Post, Bruce said:

‘I think Mikael has been on the bench for the last three games and not been used.

‘I am sure he didn’t want to be on the bench in the Championship, but I can only pick a team that I think is playing well and how can I consider leaving DJ Campbell out? I can’t – it’s as simple as that. He has given me a fantastic headache because of his form.

‘DJ’s in charge at present. We brought him here because we realised he had a talent. His attitude to coming in and having a go is refreshing, as he knows what it’s like to work hard for a living.

‘He was driving a van 15 months ago and he thinks it’s Christmas. However, I just detected in the close season a little change with him. I had a word with him and told him that it wasn’t just enough for him to be here.

‘I just detected that, towards the end of last season, he thought ‘I’m here now, that’s it.’ He had to grasp the nettle and say it’s not enough just to be here – I want to be the best player.

‘Certainly, during preseason and over the last four or five weeks, he has done fantastically well. He looks electric. He is driving a nice big car now instead of a big white van!

‘It is a refreshing change, but he also has to have the ability to go with it.’

Speaking generally on the squad and of players who are obviously unhappy sitting on the bench or not even making the bench, he said:

‘Everyone accepts that you need a squad in the Premier League and the same goes for us in the Championship.

‘With eight months to play, there will be injuries and suspensions and the bigger and better your squad, then the more you can cope.

‘Neil Danns was so frustrated and unhappy at Cardiff two weeks ago because he wasn’t in the 16. He got his chance against Queens Park Rangers and gave a terrific performance. How can I leave him out?

‘It does give you a huge problem but that is part of management. I hope the players understand that it is a squad game.

‘It is different from my day as you could go on loan, borrow or buy someone, so the squad wouldn’t be as big.

‘There would be no one knocking on doors more than me if they weren’t playing. People have to accept it. You need a bigger squad with the transfer window.’